Well gang, I think I just returned from my personal best race ever – the BAA Half Marathon!For reasons I won’t get into too much, I ended up with
approximately exactly 10 days to train for this half marathon. I haven’t been running more than three – maybe six – miles a week since the 2017 Vermont City Marathon, so that’s basically a year and a half. Gary and I joined a gym and have been keeping ourselves in somewhat regular shape, but running was mostly just a social thing. I hadn’t seen my Garmin watch since May 2017 either.
In this 10 day training stretch, I managed to sneak in a 5-miler, 9-miler, and 6-miler (in addition to a couple of smaller runs)… which is basically the bare-minimum I needed in order to reach the start line on Sunday.
Probably for all these reasons – no concern for time, no strict training, no expectations – it ended up being my best race ever, both physically and mentally! I never really knew what my pace was or what mile I was running. I’m reading and listening to tons of spirituality stuff lately, and I couldn’t help but smile to think about the 10,000 runners who were lifting the vibration across Boston Sunday morning!
Thanks to Kyle for being by my side every time there’s a race in Boston it seems! And to Katie, Grace, and all the runners and volunteers who were out there to make it a spectacular, inspiration-filled event!
Oh my gosh, you guys… it’s been a LONG time.
I’d like to think this is the story of every runner at some point, but the part that makes me cringe the most is that I saw it coming a mile (pun intended) away. Basically, I outran myself. You can look back if you’re really interested, but the gist is that I ran too many miles in too little time while self-employed, and then I jumped back into full-time employment for someone else. I ran the Vermont City Marathon for the second time in May of 2017, and then I didn’t run more than four miles for the next year and a half. If you’re counting, that puts us at TODAY (ish).Honestly, what brought me back to excitement level 10 is our regular Tuesday night run club. The local Marathon Sports shop closed down a month ago, and with that our club of more than six years was in question. We’re one of the raddest groups around, with 30-50 runners joining per week, so how could we ever let it go??
Well, the Cape Cod Runner community is clearly a top fav of mine, and the key word there is “community”. I love facilitating connections and employing my marketing background to make things like email newsletters, Facebook groups and weekly sponsors happen. Needless to say, we’ve seamlessly transitioned, and I simultaneously fell back in love with running!I ran a couple of times every week, sure, and Gary and I joined a local gym over the past winter. I wasn’t a complete lost cause, dammit. But this September I started stepping out for longer and longer runs and savoring every minute and every breath.
Long story short: I registered for the 2017 Vermont City Marathon today!
Long story long:
Around 2011: Amanda and I had a few margaritas and registered for VCM from the floor of my living room. Later the same day, I remembered we’d be in California for a friend’s wedding and I wouldn’t be able to run it.
2013: I finished my first marathon ever, the Cape Cod Marathon, and immediately registered for another VCM. I went to college near Burlington, Vermont and lived there a few years longer. One of my favorite towns on the planet, and it made sense that if I ever ran two marathons, it would be both Cape Cod and Vermont.
I tore my ACL that December 24th and wasn’t able to run. I deferred my VCM registration till the following year.
2015: VCM was a huge motivation for me in my healing, and training was going to start exactly one year after my injury. Because of my job with the Falmouth Road Race, however, I was ecstatic to get a bib for Boston as well. When combined with training for the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler, I was one exhaaaauuusted runner come VCM day. I ran it, but I hated the sport of running for approximately 19 miles of it.
If you’re paying attention to the characters in the story, Amanda (see margaritas above) was there cheering along Church Street because her now-fiance was running the marathon too!
2016: Swapping it up, Amanda and my husband Gary decided to run VCM! It was an honor for me and her man Kris to be on the sidelines cheering for them this time around! Crazy heat meant the race was cancelled in the 4th hour, but they both still crossed the finish line soon after.
2017: Yup, drinking with Amanda again. We started talking game like all four of us were going to run together this year. We ran 2×2, so this year should be all four of us, right? Low and behold, our friend Katie jumps in too (there was a lot of wine that night), and she wants to check 26.2 off her bucket list! Whaaaat? Add Gemma to the text list.
Registered. Five months and….. GO!
It was cold and drizzly, but we love this 3.7 mile course along the beaches of our neighboring village, and we love supporting our friends the Kohls!
I love running in a drizzle, gotta admit! Thanks for a wonderful Sunday morning!
Another gorgeous Marathon Monday in the books!
I appear to have picked the one year to run Boston when it was freezing and raining (last year), but I’ve benefitted by spectating on the more gorgeous 60-degree sunshine days other years! This past Monday was close to perfect! I only say close, because I was a little concerned that my runner friends were too warm.
It was a blast, as always, to get out there on the course! This year, I was psyched to drive up with my pal Kyle and meet fellow photographer friends at one of their home right on the course in Brighton. That meant a full bathroom, kitchen, place to keep our clothes AND an incredible homemade lunch of eggplant parmesan!
A full day of inspiration ensued! Endless Oiselle teammates to scream for, those with disabilities or military garb to surpass, and regular ‘ol human beings pushing beyond their wildest dreams.
Of course I caught a bit of it on Snapchat! Follow me ;-)
Have you been a Boston Marathon spectator? It’s epic and exhausting. My throat was screeching the next day. And it was AWESOME.
Oh hey there! YES, I still exist!
Things have been a little crazy around here as I launched a new business and immediately got hired full-time for said business… At least for a certain contract period, I’m now handling social marketing strategy for IFAW – the International Fund for Animal Welfare! It’s been an incredible gig over the last 2+ months!
As far as running goes, I’m still recovering from last spring’s burnout, but enjoying ever-longer miles and group runs in this sweet spring weather! My last races included Falmouth’s Seagull Six and half of the Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler in February with my friend Jen, except it wasn’t really “half” due to snow, ice and wind. I’ve been hitting up our Tuesday night run club on the regular, and accompanying my man Gary out on the roads of Cotuit village for longer weekend runs (he’s training for the Vermont City Marathon next month).
A couple of weeks ago, someone at run club asked if I had anything I was training for. I said no. I SAID NO. And then I remembered I’m registered for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this May 1st! Ha ha ha! I’m excited to photograph the wedding of my friends Jessica and Aldo this fall, and we decided to combine the race with their engagement photos in the city of Pittsburgh! Fun stuff!
When it comes to the burnout thing, I’m pretty sure I’m on the mend. I find I simply don’t want to be told I “have” to run. I still love when I do run, I remember the feeling of meditation that comes with it, and I really want to head out with groups of friends any chance I get. I saw someone who seemed to be running for exercise the other day, and I realized I don’t feel that way AT ALL about running. None of it seems like exercise to me. Is that weird or good? Let’s go with good. I clearly must still love running :-)
I ran 8 miles this past Saturday morning – my farthest since last May’s marathon!
Obviously, along the way I stopped blogging. This blog has always been more than just running though, and I am looking forward to getting back to chatting with you all!
Fresh from a week on the Zumba Cruise! Like I said before, I hate cruises (still do) and I had never done Zumba before, but it sure made for a hilarious getaway birthday trip with my mom!
I was definitely frustrated the first two days, as it was impossible to escape the sounds of loud, thumping Zumba music at every corner of the ship. I’m all for dancing, but I’d packed books, my journal and pretty pens for all the brainstorming I was going to do. Of course I went to Zumba class right from day one, but by the time I eventually just gave up on the idea of R&R altogether, I was joining my mom for up to four Zumba classes a day the latter half of the week!
It turns out that Zumba is actually pretty cool! There were “celebrity” instructors from all over the world, and the music and choreography reflected their origins. I personally loved Gina and Dhario for their hip-hop style and songs I knew all the words to. The African team was our absolute favorite, starting with the opening to The Lion King and integrating drumming and warrior moves throughout the class. At
any every given moment, here were classes on the main pool deck outside, the helipad at the front of the ship, one in every lounge or theater area, the actual gym studio, aqua Zumba in other pools, and even in the middle of the mall-like “Promenade” amidst the shopping and restaurants.
The outfits – OH the OUTFITS!!!! I mean, I hadn’t really known much about Zumba, and had no idea how this Beto guy – who was on the cruise too – started the Zumba craze something like 15-18 years ago. But WOW. The neon, the mesh, the high-top sneakers, the large word “ZUMBA” written across everything! I felt way underdressed… ha ha!
The Independence of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean, made stops in Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica. Both were private townships build specifically for cruise guests, so a lot less authentic culture than I’d normally aim for in my travels. We enjoyed a two-hour catamaran ride in beautiful, mountainous Haiti, but back on the beach we could hear nothing but the ugly screaming sounds of the concert stage. Jamaica was just a joke, as we were there for only half a day and surrounded by cheap tourist shops where nothing was actually produced in Jamaica.
All in all, I still don’t understand the draw of cruises. It’s a floating mall, with exposure only to the kind of culture you’d find in a grounded mall. Don’t get me wrong – I would definitely check out an Alaskan, Mediterranean or even a Norwegian fjiordland cruise like my parents did recently. But the Caribbean is just way cooler to immerse in than a cruise ship (or gated resort) allows.
Regardless, it was a fantastic week adventure with my mom, pretending I was a back-up dancer for Beyoncé and enjoying some excellent people-watching!
Hope you enjoy the video, and maybe even got in some real-time laughs by following me on Snapchat!
Okay, so I hardly go to the gym unless I’m teaching yoga or there’s a foot of snow outside…. but it seemed like a sensible title for this post!
I spent some time today compiling the very best of items in my running life. A few things here are specifically geared toward WINTER running, so I hope you enjoy on this February 1st!
This is an affiliate link, so yes, it tallies up a bit of Amazon credit for me if you click through… BUT, I’m really just sharing some great tips with YOU! I’d be running nowhere without this gear. Enjoy!!
I just spent a week on a ZUMBA CRUISE, so be on the lookout soon for the fun video and summary! It was a dooooozie!
YEP, that’s right! I haven’t told this to the Internet yet, but I’m leaving for a Zumba Cruise in the morning!
A cruise. About ZUMBA.
I don’t “do” cruises and I’ve never tried Zumba, but friends are placing bets that I’ll come back a Zumba instructor ;-) See, what happened is that my mom booked a fun week away with a girlfriend, girlfriend bailed, money had been paid, AND it’s my mom’s birthday. Soooooo…. here we are!
My mom and I have had a fairly great history of random adventures together. San Antonio, Scotland, Savannah, Charleston – always a great time, wherever we go! So I know this cruise to Haiti and Jamaica will be a blast, even with the twice-a-day Zumba already booked, ha!
Have you tried Zumba? Do you love it? Will I love it? And do they play Beyoncé?
I’m going to be pretty limited in wifi access (because I refuse to pay what I think they’re asking on the ship), but I plan to Snapchat some of the hilariousness! Find me at staceyhedman and join the fun!
I’m a HUGE fan of New Years! I simply cannot get on board with those who suggest New Years is “just like any other day”. Incidentally, I also love Mondays and mornings… fresh new starts happen all the time!
“A dream becomes a goal when you start taking action toward it.” – Being Boss (podcast)
This book – the 52 Lists Project – is one of my favorite gifts under the tree this Christmas! It’s a beautiful book full of inspired lists and journal prompts for the year. Highly recommend!
Do you sit down and write out your resolutions and intentions for a new year? If I could, I’d dedicate four weeks of holiday couch time to this! But alas… we were of course rushing around shopping, wrapping, cooking, delivering photos to my clients in time to share with family over the holidays!
I’m so very lucky to have the winter months slow down, and I really CAN set some time aside to evaluate, savor and plan. Hopefully you can too, maybe having a blank journal (or the 52 Lists book) nearby on the couch instead of zoning out to the television each night. Go ahead, MAKE MOVES! Whether it’s just toward a happier daily schedule, starting a new business, getting ahead of Christmas shopping/creating for NEXT year, inspiring date nights with your love, anything! Writer Elizabeth Gilbert shares her idea for a “Happiness Jar” as well, logging one happy thing that happened today, every day. Whatever floats your boat, how can you actively participate in your life? Let’s not let another year breeze by…